Taraweeh Prayers in Ramadan: A Guide to its Meaning, Importance and Method
Ramadan is a month of spiritual renewal and reconnection with Allah (SWT). During this month, Muslims fast from dawn until dusk and engage in acts that strengthen our faith and connection with Allah (SWT).
One of the most significant practices during this month is the Taraweeh (or Tarawih) prayer, which is a special night prayer performed after the obligatory Isha prayer.
Meaning and Significance of Taraweeh Prayer
Taraweeh prayer is a Sunnah or voluntary prayer that is performed during the month of Ramadan. It is prayed after the Isha prayer and before the Witr prayer. The name Taraweeh is derived from the Arabic word “tarawih,” which means “rest and relaxation.” This is because the prayer is performed in a leisurely and relaxed manner, with breaks between each set of rak’ahs.
Praying Taraweeh, like with other acts of worship such as making dhikr (remembrance of Allah (SWT)) and reading the Qur’an (or Quran), is encouraged during Ramadan. As it not only increases one’s connection with Allah (SWT), but it is also an excellent opportunity to earn more rewards during the holy month.
One such hadith narrated by Abu Huraira states that the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him) said, “Whoever stands (in the voluntary night prayer of) Ramadan out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.” (Sahih Bukhari)
Therefore, in this hadith, we can see that there are significant rewards for praying night prayers such as Taraweeh during the month of Ramadan, when every good deed is multiplied more than any other time of the year.
Benefits of Taraweeh Prayer
Performing Taraweeh prayer has numerous benefits, as it nurtures all aspects of our self and body.
First and foremost, the long and peaceful prayer session allows Muslims to reflect on their relationship with Allah (SWT) and seek His forgiveness and blessings. By regularly performing Taraweeh, we grow closer to our Creator and gain a better understanding and appreciation of Him and our faith.
Performing Taraweeh prayers regularly also requires discipline and commitment. The lengthy prayer sessions of Taraweeh encourage us to manage our time effectively and prioritise our spiritual obligations while still fulfilling our daily responsibilities. It helps us develop greater self-discipline, which can then be applied to other areas of our lives, even beyond Ramadan.
Along with helping our spiritual and mental health, Taraweeh prayers also benefit our physical health. They are an excellent form of exercise, as the prolonged prayer session helps to improve cardiovascular health, increase flexibility and reduce stress levels.
Lastly, the way we pray Taraweeh also strengthens our sense of unity and community. Many mosques and community centres offer communal Taraweeh prayers, where Muslims from all walks of life come together to pray and worship. This sense of community is especially important during the month of Ramadan, as Muslims fast, share food, connect and engage in other acts of worship together.
Method of Taraweeh Prayer
The two most common methods of praying Taraweeh are the 20 rak’ahs method and the 8 rak’ahs method, with a short break after every 4 or 2 rak’ahs.
Regardless of the method used, each rak’ah begins with the recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah, followed by a portion of the Quran. The Witr prayer is then performed after the Taraweeh prayer is completed.
It is also highly encouraged to perform Taraweeh prayer in congregation, as this is the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). As narrated from Abu Dharr (may Allah be pleased with him), the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: “Whoever stands with the imaam until he finishes, it is equivalent to spending the whole night in prayer.” (Al-Tirmidhi)
Overall, the Taraweeh prayer is a significant practice during the month of Ramadan. It provides a spiritual break and a chance to connect with Allah, seek forgiveness and strengthen one’s faith. There are different methods of performing Taraweeh prayer, which is frequently done in congregation, but the most important thing is to perform it with sincerity and devotion.
By performing Taraweeh prayer, we can reap numerous physical and spiritual benefits, including a strengthened spiritual connection with Allah (SWT). This Ramadan, let us make a commitment to performing this night prayer and reaping its many benefits. May Allah (SWT) accept our prayers, ameen!